History of the Dachshunds

A small dog of a breed developed in Germany for hunting badgers and having a long body, a usually shorthaired brown or black and brown coat, drooping ears, and very short legs. Called by many different names: weiner dogs, hot dogs, dachsies, mini or just doxie, the Dachshund is one hound dog breed that's small in stature but big in heart and devotion. The name Dachshund is German for "badger dog," indicating why these dogs were originally bred - to hunt badgers. German foresters, in the 18th and 19th centuries, mixed a variety of breeds together, aiming for a fearless, elongated dog that could dig the earth from a badger burrow, and fight to the death with the vicious badgers that were unlucky enough to inhabit that burrow. Dachshunds have also been used to hunt foxes, and believe it or not, wild boar.

The first Dachshunds were brought into the United States in 1887, where they grew in popularity over the next few decades. By 1914, they were among the 10 most popular entries in the Westminster Kennel Club Show. During World War I, there was much disdain over anything considered German and unfortunately the Dachshund was a victim of much hostility. In fact, they were sometimes the victims of stoning, and Dachshund owners were often called traitors. As a result, the number of Dachshunds in the United States and Britain dwindled. After the war, a few breeders slowly rebuilt the gene pool by importing German stock, and the breed began to increase in popularity again. The advent of World War II did not yield the same effects as World War I, because by then breeders were well established and Dachshunds were very popular. However; the dachshund was nearly wiped out in Germany after World War II as it was used for detecting undetonated bombs in the rubble of German cities.

The dachshund, for this association with Germany, was chosen to be the first official mascot for the 1972 Summer Olympics with the name "Waldi". 

The flap-down ears and famous curved tail of the dachshund have deliberately been bred into the dog. In the case of the ears, this is so that grass seeds, dirt and other matter do not enter into the ear canal. The curved tail is dual-purposed: to be seen more easily in long grass and, in the case of burrowing dachshunds, to help haul the dog out if it becomes stuck in a burrow.

Dachs Song
There's no other dog like a dachshund,
Walking so close to the ground,
They're stubborn and sly as a fox and
The happiest pet to be found.
Most kinds of dogs seem to either
Have shapes or proportions all wrong;
They're only one way or the other,
But dachshunds are both short and long.
Dachsie, meine dachsie,
The best canine under the sun,
Call you "wiener" or "sausage" or "hotdog",
We know that you're number one.

by Paul de Vries and Murray Weinstock

The Miniature Dachshunds Today

Dachshunds are recognized by their long bodies and short legs. This is the embodiment of form following function. Being low to the ground, allows them to enter and maneuver through tunnels. Dachshunds' senses are all well developed. They are very brave, as well they are very independent. Being the smallest breed used for hunting, they need to be independent to do their job.

Anyone who meets a Dachshund has no doubt about whose dog it is. They are often one-person dogs, as they bond very closely with their master. A Dachshund's master is never alone in the house - they have a long, low shadow following them everywhere around the house. This is not to suggest that Dachshunds dislike other humans - quite the contrary. But they definitely know which human is theirs. Rather the human knows who he/she belongs too!

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